This is Steve Emberwith the VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS.
This is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program IN THENEWS.
Indonesian officials are investigating the bomb attacks in Bali.A powerful car bomb exploded last Saturday in Kuta, an area popularamong foreign travelers. The explosion and resulting fire destroyedtwo businesses where people were eating, drinking and dancing.Nearby buildings were severely damaged.
The bombing killed more than one-hundred-eighty people. More thanthree-hundred others were injured. Most of the victims were fromAustralia. However, Indonesians and citizens of other countries alsowere killed or injured. Indonesian officials are having troubleidentifying the remains of those killed. Most of the bodies were sodamaged that they are not recognizable.
Australia has offered to help Indonesia investigate the Balibombings. The United States and other countries have sent smallteams to help in the effort.
Indonesian police say they found evidence that complex plasticexplosives were used in the attack. Similar explosives were used inthe bombing of an American Navy ship in Yemen two years ago. UnitedStates officials blame al-Qaida terrorists for that attack.
Singapore and Malaysia have described a group called JemaahIslamiah as the Southeast Asian part of al-Qaida. The United Statesand other nations also say Jemaah Islamiah is linked to the terrorgroup.
Indonesia has resisted these claims. Security Minister SusiloBambang Yudhoyono said Thursday that officials are not sure whocarried out the Bali bombing. He said it may have been the work offoreigners, possibly with the help of Indonesians.
The minister denied that Jemaah Islamiah exists as anorganization in his country. Yet he added that three of the group'sleaders are from Indonesia. He said one of them, Abu Bakar Bashir,could face legal action. Mister Bashir is the head of an Islamicschool in central Java.
On Saturday, police arrested the Muslim clergyman. Officials saythey want to question him about bombings that killed nineteen peopletwo years ago. The arrest order was not directly connected to theBali bombing.
Experts say Jemaah Islamiah began many years ago as a group forreligious Muslims. They say it started to support extreme causesduring a campaign led by the government of then-President Suharto.Mister Bashir and his followers fled to Malaysia in thenineteen-eighties. After Mister Suharto left office innineteen-ninety-eight, the clergyman returned to Indonesia andcontinued his teachings. He supports creation of an Islamicgovernment in Southeast Asia.
Mister Bashir denies that Jemaah Islamiah exists. He says thatany link between the Bali bombing and al-Qaeda is an invention ofnon-Muslims. He says the Indonesian government is surrendering toomuch to American influence. He warned that such a relationshipbetween the two countries could lead to another attack in Indonesia.
This VOA Special English program, IN THE NEWS, was written byCaty Weaver. This is Steve Ember.